The first things I noticed in Bill Sabol’s letter “How a union destroyed good biz” in the May 8 VCReporter were his unconscious — hopefully — condescension and narrow focus overall in his letter attacking Raymond Freeman’s recent Op-Ed (“1945 and after,” Sharper Focus, 5/29).
History or context for Sabol’s thoughts are lame, even when, at the end, he does get specifically historical.
Without explaining, he obviously assumes union means Bad, while works councils are at least OK. What’s the difference? During my early maturity in the ’50s and ’60s, most American unions and corporate bodies got along reasonably well. Happy workers were more efficient and dedicated; this meant higher productivity and increased company earnings, which, in turn, justified increased worker wages and better benefits. Were unions back then works councils?
But the American corporate sensibility has never been comfortable with moderation, or shared growth with those that make it possible. The moderation that followed the excesses and brutality of the early days of unionism, and that was strongly aided and abetted by the need for cooperation occasioned by WWII, faded. With better access to the media than unions, corporate powers were increasingly able to vilify unions, accrue their power and erode the common-sense notion that workers are at least important in the productive enterprise. Today unionism in America is a shadow of its former self, yet the media, almost as if by rote, keep pounding a staggering remnant, almost as if a dominant corporatized elite were shaking in their Lincoln Town Cars that the indomitable John F. Lewis, CIO President, or his equivalent was about to be reincarnated! How ludicrous! None of this lust for power, however, was or is ever “adversarial” or “confrontational”!
Mr. Sabol does justify his letter title with a historical glance backward to the inept domestic car industry’s response to foreign car importation; though, of course, the United Auto Workers Union is the sole culprit. Huh huh!
Please explain why unionism — sorry, works councils — haven’t destroyed the German auto industry?
Making money off global warming
Good job on your editorial regarding the study of global warming. Change is inevitable, but we can alter the path, 05/08) The most truthful and factual thing that was written is regarding the political issue that global warming has become. The study referenced is a great example of turning it into a political issue. Let’s ignore politics for a minute and look at world history.
Global warming began at the end of the ice age with the end of the Pleistocene epoch approximately 11,000 years ago. It ushered in the Holocene epoch. Temperature extremes are typically based on astronomical factors, variations in the Earth’s orbit. It causes periods when summers are hotter and winters colder, as well as periods when summers are cooler and winters are warmer. But the trend since the beginning of the Holocene has been an increase in Earth’s temperatures.
Politics become involved in studies such as the one you referenced to gain exposure. That particular study looked at less than one half of 1 percent of the time that the Earth has been warming. Why ignore the other 99.5 percent of time? Because it is boring and not sensational. And sensation sells. Many individuals and corporations have made a lot of money off of global warming fears. Al Gore got richer, and in the last California election we passed a measure that ensured that we would be buying future solar energy equipment from China, making them richer.
What does the future hold? Based on Earth’s history, warming will continue until a period of cooling is ushered in. Will mankind survive? Despite the arrogance of man that they can control nature, their efforts will make little difference, if any. In all likelihood many species of plants and animals will disappear, only to be replaced by other species of plants and animals. With the exception of mankind, nature is adaptable. Will the polar bears survive the melting of the ice caps? There has already been evidence of breeding between polar bears and grizzly bears; they are adapting. What can be guaranteed is that temperatures will continue to climb, and politicians and corporations will continue to politicize the topic and make money off of it. And they have studies like this one to help their cause.